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President's extra security an admission of terror threat : Experts

02 June 2014, 10:01 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta's use of a newly assembled armoury of vehicles during the Madaraka Day celebrations was an admission of the prevailing security threat in the country, according to experts.

The president moved on from the use of the old generation Land Rover vehicles to a more high- tech Toyota Land Cruiser complete with armoured windows, a shift from the past.

In tow were another set of armoured vehicles, which were also different from the normal fleet of vehicles used by the executive.

Kenyans were obviously puzzled by the change in presidential security at such a high profile event, with sections of the Nyayo Stadium crowd having different views of the development.

" The new vehicles are important for the president at this time of insecurity. He is the head of state after all, Kigen Josiah, said.

Others felt that it was an admission of the state of the country's security.

" I think that by the president using such vehicles at such an important public gathering, it shows he is also afraid of the level of security, was Oscar Orwa's opinion.

On Twitter, there were also several reactions, most of them centering on the make of the vehicles rather than their use.

@MissoT said " I see the Land Rovers have been done away with.. Bye bye West, Hallo East, she said, referring to the fact that the Toyota vehicles are from Asia as compared to the usual Western made vehicles.

According to @Vinnie98, the new vehicles showed the president's intent in several ways, " The president has acknowledged that we are not safe, but taken steps to counter it and in a new way, he said.

Security expert Wafula Omunyinyi believes that by using such 'force', the president has taken the level of security in the country into context.

" The president is the most important man in Kenya and needs to be protected. My view though is that at the end of the day, the move to use such vehicles has been misinterpreted to mean he has shown weakness as compared to the fact he is being prudent, he said.

Sources close to the president's security team did not divulge much on the new vehicles but did admit to there being a measure of caution in the matter.

" There is a security threat and we have to be careful. The president was advised as much and that is why the step was taken to have the new vehicles, the source said.

There was however no confirmation as to whether the use of the new fortified armoured vehicles would continue in future.

" Kenya is under attack. The security agencies are on top of the matter but when it comes to the president, caution can not be understated, the source continued.

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